Ar ais sa scoil agus Béal Feirste / Back to school and Belfast

A chairde,

Tá muid ar ais ag freastal ar na cúrsaí, agus tá muid ag baint suilt as a bheith sna ranganna arís. Bhí sé go hiontach na daoine eile ar an chúrsa a fheiceáil arís, fosta, agus a bheith ag cogaint na mine sa chaifé in Aras na Gaeilge. Is áit iontach tábhachtach í an caifé sin, ní hamháin mar atá caifé agus bia ann leis an ocras/tart a chosc le linn an lae, ach mar gheall ar an chaint a tharlaíonn idir na ranganna agus an cleachtadh a fhaigheann daoine ansin a bheith ag labhairt i nGaeilge le cainteoirí eile. Tá sé iontach luachmhar agus tá muid ag brath níos mó ama a chaitheamh ansin i rith an tseimeastair seo, chun snas a chur ar ár gcuid Gaeilge labhartha.

Bhí seans againn dul ag siúl sna sléibhte lenár gcara Conor cúpla deireadh seachtaine ó shin, sa Pháirc Náisiúnta Chonamara… tchí ar na pictiúirí seo, ón lá gálanta sin!

Muid le Conor / Us with Conor

Muid le Conor / Us with Conor

Muidne / Us

Muidne / Us

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Ar bharr an domhain!  On top of the world!

Ar bharr an domhain! On top of the world!

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Bhí an-áthas orainn a bheith mar óstaigh do chúpla cara dár gcuid, Naka agus Sasha. D’fhan Naka linn ar feadh cúpla lá agus bhí an-spraoi agus an-cheol againn léi. Bhuail muid le cúpla ceolteoir iontach fríd Naka, fosta, agus bhain muid an-sult as a gcuid ceoil agus a gcomhairle. An tseachtain seo caite, bhí seans againn dul chuig seisiún iontach i mBaile Átha an Rí, agus bhí muid inár suí go dtí a 2:30, ag seinm. Tá muid ag foghlaim gur fearr linn na seisiúin ciúine, atá níos moille agus gan slua mór sa teach tabhairne… tá sé deas a bheith ag bualadh le ceoltóirí eile a bhfuil an suim chéanna acu! Nuair a d’fhan Sasha linn seachtain ina dhiaidh sin, bhí sé go hiontach a bheith ag caint léi arís agus bhí muid inár suí go mall san oíche.

An deireadh seachtaine seo caite, bhí seans agam dul ar thuras Fulbright go Béal Feirste, agus turas iontach a bhí ann! Chonaic muid Stormont, an Halla Cathrach, Leabharlann Linen Hall, na múrealaíní ar na bhallaí sa chathair, an Crumlin Road Gaol, agus neart rudaí eile. Phacáil siad neart rudaí isteach sa dá lá agus bhain mé an-sult as an eachtra.

Turas Fulbright ag Stormont i mBéal Feirste / Fulbright trip at Stormont in Belfast

Turas Fulbright ag Stormont i mBéal Feirste / Fulbright trip at Stormont in Belfast

I dteannta leis sin, bhí deis agam bualadh leis an Iontaobhas Ultach agus le scoláire PhD ag Ollscoil na Banríona, faoi smaointí atá agam fá mo thrachtas (tá an t-am sin ag teacht! EEK!). Tá sé ar intinn agam rud éigin a scríobh fán Ghaeilge sa Tuaisceart sa lá atá inniu ann, agus go háirithe fá na hidé-eolaíochtaí atá ag cainteoirí na Gaeilge taobh amuigh agus taobh istigh den Tuaisceart fán Ghaeilge ansin. Is minic a chluinim daoine ag rá go bhfuil an Ghaeilge níos sláintiúla sa Tuaisceart ná atá sí sa Deisceart… níl sé sin fíor, de réir na n-uimhreacha, ach cad chuige a bhfuil an tuiscint sin ann? Ar scór ar bith, deireadh seachtaine iontach a bhí ann agus tá mé iontach buíoch don Choimisiún Fulbright as é a ullmhú.

Go dtí an staidéar anois! Slán libh!

Amanda

___________________________________________________

Dear friends,

We’re back attending our course, and we’re really enjoying being in classes again. It was wonderful to see the other people on our program again as well, and to be chatting in Áras na Gaeilge. That café is a really important place, not only because it supplies much needed food and drink to the weary students throughout the day, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity for students to be speaking Irish with other speakers. It’s a very valuable thing and we’re planning on spending much more time there during this semester, to polish up our Irish speech skills.

We had a chance to go hiking with our friend Conor in the Connemara National Park… take a look at these pictures from that gorgeous day!

Muid le Conor / Us with Conor

Muid le Conor / Us with Conor

Muidne / Us

Muidne / Us

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Ar bharr an domhain!  On top of the world!

Ar bharr an domhain! On top of the world!

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

Radharc álainn ón bharr / Beautiful view from the top

We were delighted to be hosts to a couple of our friends, Naka and Sasha (who came on separate trips). Naka stayed with us for a couple of days and we had loads of fun and great music with her. We also met a couple of other musicians through Naka, and we really enjoyed their music and company. We had the chance to go to a rocking session in Athenry with said new musician friends the weekend before last, and we stayed up till about 2:30am playing tunes. We’re learning that we really prefer quiet, somewhat slower sessions without a huge crowd in the pub… it’s really nice to meet other musicians who have the same interests! When Sasha stayed with us the next week, it was wonderful to have a chance to talk with her again and we stayed up quite late at night, catching up.

This past weekend, I had the chance to go on a Fulbright trip to Belfast, and what a wonderful trip it was! We visited Stormont, the City Hall, the Linen Hall Library, the Crumlin Road Gaol, saw the wall murals around the city, had great tour guides, and saw lots more. A lot was packed into 2 days and I really enjoyed the experience.

Turas Fulbright ag Stormont i mBéal Feirste / Fulbright trip at Stormont in Belfast

Turas Fulbright ag Stormont i mBéal Feirste / Fulbright trip at Stormont in Belfast

Along with that, I had the opportunity to meet with Iontaobhas Ultach and a PhD student at Queens University, Belfast, to discuss some thoughts for my upcoming thesis (the time is approaching my friends, eek!!). I’m thinking about writing a thesis on Irish in Northern Ireland, and more specifically the ideologies that Irish speakers in the North and South of Ireland have about Irish in the North. I often hear people say that Irish is healthier as a language in the North than it is in the South… this is not really true, but why would people have that understanding? At any rate, the weekend was truly wonderful and I’m very grateful to the Fulbright Commission for organizing it.

Heading back to the books now. By for now!

Amanda

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